Bourj Hammoud (Little Armenia)

Bourj Hammoud, Beirut, Lebanon

Bourj Hammoud started as a shanty town when the refugees from the Armenian genocide arrived in the early 1900's. Over the years proper buildings were constructed and many of the original ones from early to mid-20th century still exist. The Armenian community tried to hold together in solidarity and neutrality during the Lebanese civil war, and this may be why many of their buildings remain as they once were. Going to this district is like going to a place that has stopped in time.

One of the mostly densely populated areas in the entire Middle East, it is very interesting to see the older generations in their timeless styles and the young women walking around tank-top and short short clad. It is still an area that is known for industry and little shops, tailors, barbers, etc. It has also become a bit of a catch-all for immigrant workers from Africa and the Phillipines as well as refugees from Iraq and Syria. Mostly, though, I loved seeing the young modern women walking through these time-locked streets with the old women who fit right in.